Maximum city, maximum snacks

Making the Bombay Sandwich Delhi-style and admitting that it is not a patch on the original

A while ago when I was heading to Mumbai for a couple of days, my 11-year-old daughter had only two requests: ‘When you take me to Mumbai I want to see Marine Drive and I want to eat street food’.

There is no shortage of street food in Delhi, what with its papri-chaat, gol gappas, aloo tikkis, momos, and veg chowmein. Yet if you ask me the Capital cannot beat the variety of street food options that Maximum City has to offer. Perhaps my Kiddo had been paying attention every time I moaned about not getting vada pav, or the delightful Mysore dosa right outside Sophia Polytech. And she was definitely most interested in all the stories about strawberries and cream from Bachelorr’s and Haji Ali as well as the bhel at Juhu Chowpatty.

It has been years since I have really had a chance to sample the street food in Mumbai and perhaps most of my memories are faulty. I am pretty sure the street sandwiches don’t taste as great as I remember and definitely the Frankie stall I used to haunt at Bandra must no longer exist... or does it? And all those juice stalls at Nariman Point where a glass of mango juice (more like pulp) at lunchtime would leave you feeling satiated until dinner.

Last time I was in Mumbai, I shopped for dry red garlic chutney used in vada pavs. Once back in Delhi, I tried to concoct some version of the vada at home but it was a disaster from the word go. So I left that alone and decided to honour my memories of Mumbai’s street food, by recreating the Bombay Sandwich.

A warning: my version tastes nothing like the original but it is something my Kiddo loves as a snack and hence good to be shared.

Bombay Sandwich

3 slices of bread

1 onion, cut into round slices

1 boiled potato, cut into round slices

1 tomato, cut into round slices

1 green chilli, chopped

1 tsp chopped coriander

3 tbsp butter

1 tsp green chutney

1 tsp ketchup

Salt and pepper to taste


Slather 1 tbsp butter evenly on all 3 slices; then on one slice spread chutney and on the other ketchup. On a nonstick pan, put the rest of the butter and then the onions and chillies. Cook until they caramelize. Then put these on the slice of bread with chutney. Next, put the round tomato slices and cook on both sides. Place these on the slice with ketchup. Now cook the potato on both sides and place on the butter slice with coriander, salt and pepper. Place one on top of the other and if you like place this sandwich in an equity toaster for a few minutes to toast the sandwich. Our version of the Bombay Sandwich is ready.

PS: I wonder what Kiddo will say when she tries the original Bombay Sandwich in Mumbai next time I take her there.

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